Do you smoke? Are you pregnant but want to stop? Here’s the why's and how’s to quit smoking, not just for you but for your kids...
Smoking is undeniably bad for your health, and for the health of the ones around you. You might have tried to quit smoking in the past but never quite managed it; after all, it is highly addictive physically, and often emotionally too. I’m not a smoker myself and neither is Adam but I know people who do smoke and have children and have openly admitted to wanting to stop smoking for their child’s sake.
Many people who have smoked for years find the strength that they need to quit when they have children, since our natural instinct as parents is to protect our little ones. If you have children and you smoke, or a loved one smokes, there is no way round it; your children are in danger. They are in danger from second-hand smoke and even third-hand smoke (from the furniture, carpets and curtains that have soaked up the cigarette fumes over time).
The well-known, scary yet scientifically proven effects of children breathing in second-hand or third-hand smoke include:
1. Cot death
2. Asthma (which can be fatal)
5. Ear infections (which can lead to hearing loss)
6. Chest infections (such as bronchitis and pneumonia)
7. Coughs and colds
A child of a parent who smokes is also three times more likely to start smoking themselves - it's hard to tell a child not to do something that you're doing yourself!!
No parent wants to cause their child to suffer. The good news is that it is easier now than ever before to give up smoking thanks to all the help and support available... You can talk to your GP who can sign you up for Stop Smoking clinics and prescribe NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) options like patches and gum. There are support groups for people trying to quit where you can give each other advice and encouragement, and you can make use of the NHS Stop Smoking Service, available on the phone 7am to 11pm to help you to stave off cravings.
Perhaps one of the best known and modern options is to try an e-cigarette. These are electronic devices that trick your brain into thinking that you are smoking a real cigarette, as they release a vapour that you inhale. The vapour often contains nicotine, to stem cravings, and they are a far cheaper (and healthier) alternative to real cigarettes. Many people find that they are easier to quit than 'real' cigarettes, making them an ideal stepping stone towards quitting altogether. Something like Vapourize-cigs are a perfect example.
Once you have stopped smoking cigarettes, the risks set out above drop dramatically, very quickly. The sooner you take action to quit smoking, the better for your family and you.